The Catchment Management Plan identified that habitat fragmentation is reducing the resilience of ecosystems within the catchment and that poor water quality is impacting the health of the river and wider Port Stephens Estuary.
The economic and social fabric of the catchment - including agriculture, oyster farming, lifestyle and tourism activities - is inherently linked to the condition and function of the natural environment and the sustained delivery of environmental services.
Council is presently in the planning phase for the development of a large scale riparian restoration project in partnership with Landcare Australia Ltd, Hunter Local Land Services and Karuah Great Lakes Landcare.
In addition Council has been exploring in collaboration with land owners in The Branch sub-catchment the feasibility of establishing biodiversity stewardship sites on their land.
Biodiversity stewardship sites are voluntary in-perpetuity agreements entered into by landholders, to manage high value vegetation.